Author: Singapore's Budget Babe

What the property ads on Facebook aren’t telling you

I’ve been seeing a lot of recent ads on Facebook selling the idea that HDB owners who earn as little as $6k – $8k combined monthly income can:– Upgrade to a private condominium AND – Own a second property AND – Get a 5 to 6-digit lump sum of capital all WITHOUT forking out any additional cash. Images are not mine, but I’ve removed hyperlink credits as some readers have commented it is indirectly promoting these agents, which defeats my intentions. Hence, source credits will only be provided upon request. For many of you who have been targeted by these ads and...

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Review of Debtzilla (Singapore’s newest financial board game)

I’ve been raving about Wongamania being one of the best board games for learning about personal finance since 2015, so when my good friend Xeo invited me to try out their newest game, Debtzilla, I agreed in a heartbeat. Get Debtzilla on Kickstarter here! Unlike Wongamania where you pit yourself against the other players to win, Debtzilla requires you to work together for the benefit of everyone. You either win as a team, or lose together. In today’s day and age of consumerism and a rising occurrence of financial scams, this game could not be more relevant. The Gameplay The...

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Review: Thoughts on the Revamped DBS Multipler Account

Just a few months ago, I declared that for anyone who      Spends less than $500 on your credit card in a month and / or      Earns less than $2,000 a month, the DBS Be Your Own Boss (BYOB would be the best account in the market with the highest interest rates. Since then, 2 new contenders have popped up in the market for those chasing high interest yields – the UOB Stash and DBS Multiplier. I reckon you can pretty much forget about the UOB Stash – read my review and suggestions for what you’ll be better off with...

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Better Alternatives to UOB Stash

Disclaimer: I loved UOB One, but nothing riles me up faster than a badly marketed financial product (okay fine, a badly marketed financial product through lifestyle influencers who mislead their followers for the monetary benefit of a sponsored post come a close second). And because a lot of people have been asking me about UOB Stash, I thought I’ll do a review here so folks know what you’re REALLY signing up for. Err, that’s a lot less than what you’ll earn on the UOB One account, which is a much more superior account to park your money in if you’re...

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FWD 2.02% Endowment Plan is back!

For the risk-adverse, higher interest rates on your money often come tagged with multiple requirements or a reallllly long maturity period. However, there’s a disruptive new offering that doesn’t require you to tie up your money for 10 to 15 years anymore, yet you can get a competitive rate of 2.02% per annum, with your capital guaranteed and free insurance protection during the period.Sounds too good to be true? Well, you’d better believe it!I run a Facebook group supporting women on their personal finance journey (and questions), and not too long ago we had a brief discussion regarding FWD’s newest...

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More Accountability Needed in Influencer Marketing

The Beautiful Teeth Whitening Kit, which was popularised by various social media influencers and sold like hotcakes earlier in the year, has now been confirmed to be potentially harmful by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), who has now banned sales of it to the direct public. Social media was littered with popular influencers promoting the kit to their followers, with plenty of before-after photos that looked rather promising. Curious to know how they managed to amass so many photos? Well, they made buyers take photo to serve as a “1 month guarantee” for any faulty parts, that’s how. On 20...

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How to spot a MLM scheme

MLM (Multi-Level Marketing), also known as pyramid selling, is a controversial marketing strategy where the revenue of the MLM company is obtained from the people who join the MLM. Typically, the idea is that you recruit newcomers, who pay a fee to join in order to gain access or start selling the exclusive MLM products / services. World Ventures, Nuskin and Amway are probably the first few names that come to mind, but that’s not it. I was quite shocked when some of my friends tried to rope me in: “If I could show you a way to earn...

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Financial Roadmap

Ever heard of FIRE? It’s the new age movement that is taking the world by storm – Financial Independence and Retire Early. Living in Singapore can be stressful. We’ve been voted the world’s most expensive city, cost of living is skyrocketing, and our wages have failed to keep up in tandem. It can get pretty frustrating. Which is why I’m such a huge advocate of FIRE, and spend hours on this blog sharing my tricks and teaching folks like YOU how you can turbo-charge your own savings and be on your way to financial independence sooner. What do you want to do...

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How much can you earn as a Uber driver?

Ever wondered how much you’ll make if you quit your day job and turned to driving Uber (like Wolverine) instead? In 2015, I wrote about how I encountered a taxi driver who told me he earns $7,000 a month. Back then, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Grab were fairly new, but he was one of the early adopters of the technology and benefited tremendously from the bonus incentives. He was also immensely hardworking, and shared with me that the reason why he could earn so much more than most folks despite only having a GCE ‘N’ Level qualification was...

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What you should look at before buying an ETF

With a wealth of information out there today, it is easy for anyone to get lost in a sea of financial jargons and articles that keep telling you, XX things you MUST know before investing! Recently, I received an email from a reader who asked me what I would look out for before I buy any exchange-traded fund (ETF). She mentioned that she was keen to explore index investing, but got overwhelmed by all the information online. I’ve previously talked about how index investing is an easy way out for anyone who wants to avoid losing 1/3 of their...

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Should I get a HDB or a bank loan?

In my last post, I promised to elaborate more on the common dilemma faced by most new homeowners: should you get a HDB or a bank loan? To put things into context, BTO prices range from $200k (Yishun) – $600k (Bidadari), whereas the average price of a 4-room HDB resale flat in Singapore can go up to $670k in a central location. Depending on how much housing grants you’re eligible for (calculate here!), most of us probably will need to take out a loan to pay off the remaining sum. Source: Stacked Homes I’ve mentioned about how I’m generally...

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The 5 best housing loans right now

A number of readers have been asking me about housing loans lately, so I thought I’d touch on this topic today. I’m generally more inclined towards bank loans at this point in time (and have been since I highlighted it here in 2016), given how they’re mostly cheaper given the low interest rate environment we’re in right now. (I’m in the midst of writing another article comparing the pros and cons of getting a HDB vs. bank loans, so you can keep an eye out for that if it has been an issue weighing on your minds as well.)...

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Review of Debtzilla (Singapore’s newest financial board game)

I’ve been raving about Wongamania being one of the best board games for learning about personal finance since 2015, so when my good friend Xeo invited me to try out their newest game, Debtzilla, I agreed in a heartbeat.Unlike Wongamania where you pit yourself against the other players to win, Debtzilla requires you to work together for the benefit of everyone. You either win as a team, or lose together.In today’s day and age of consumerism and a rising occurrence of financial scams, this game could not be more relevant.The GameplayThe game premise is a little more complex than...

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Her World Brides Feature: Bride on a Budget

Can you hold a (budget) wedding without looking cheap? The answer is, yes! See what our wedding looks like in the exclusive 6-page feature in Her World Brides (September 2017 issue), where we share some sneaks into our wedding, as well as how we went about planning it on a budget. In addition, I was also asked to contribute an article specially for Bride(s) on a Budget and how you can hold your own dream wedding for a fraction of the costs (and most importantly, without looking cheap)! You can find this on the cover story of the magazine: 7 smart...

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What’s covered under your home insurance?

What is Home Insurance? A lot of finance bloggers have covered life / term / hospital / investment-linked / travel insurance policies, but I didn’t find much information on home insurance so I thought today I’ll dedicate an article to this boring but important topic. Home insurance policies are just about as exciting as watching paint dry, but they’re an important concept to grasp for all homeowners. A home insurance policy will cover the physical structure of your home as well as your personal contents within the four walls. To be more accurate, some agents distinguish between fire insurance...

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